George Russell Reveals Secret to Gaining More Performance Amid ‘Unjustified Criticism’

Published 08/25/2021, 8:06 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 19, 2021 Williams’ George Russell during a press conference ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix Pool via REUTERS/Sebastien Nogier


George Russell is undeniably one of the most talented drivers on the grid, with the entire F1 fandom yearning to see the Briton sport the Mercedes AMG suit next season. However, his journey to such a commendable position hasn’t been easy.

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One of the reasons was his terrible luck. The Briton had to wait over 2 years to score his first points for Williams. Of course, he had abundant chances at his disposal, but none of them panned out the way he had hoped for.

This led to a lot of criticisms, claiming he was unworthy, as he flunked most of his point-scoring opportunities. Amidst such criticisms out in the open, Russell confessed that such statements do meddle with his head, which consequently leads to loss of performance on the track.

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What did George Russell say?

Speaking to GP Fans, the Williams driver revealed that he has his own psychologist to help him fight through the negativity and unlock more performance.

I do work with a psychologist. But, that’s just for me to try and gain more performance,” he said. “But it is difficult when, these days, everybody has an opinion.”

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Williams’ George Russell in the FIA Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

We’re all human at the end of the day. And if you’re getting a huge amount of criticism, for whatever reason, or unjustified criticism, that is going to affect your sole focus to perform at the best of your ability in your dedicated industry,” Russell added.

Mistakes that led to massive criticisms

There were two distinct incidents, each taking place in Imola over different years. In 2020, Russell crashed into the barriers under the safety car. And the Briton looked absolutely devastated, as he was well within the top 10 at that point.

Hence, this led to many claiming that Russell is not a reliable driver, and could well be accident-prone. One year later, Russell collided with Bottas on the main straight during the race.

However, that wasn’t necessarily what caused the backlash from the fans, but his unsportsmanlike behavior against the Finn. Of course, his adrenaline was running high.

However, Russell walked straight to Bottas, who was very much startled by the crash and blamed the Mercedes driver for the collision. He further slapped the Finn with his gloves before walking off the track. And this led to a whole lot of criticisms being fired at Russell, and the driver did issue an apology.

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Overall, the past may have been chaotic for Russell. But, he has earned his respect in the paddock and amongst the fans over the months.

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So, amidst massive support from the fandom, can Russell make a huge leap to Mercedes and start proving that he indeed is a championship material?

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Rohit Kumar

1139 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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